Monday, 6 February 2017

Film No. 8 (2017) Moonlight January 29th.

Film No. 8 (2017) January 28th.  7.00 PM LUNA PALACE, Leederville. 

"At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who your're gonna be. Can't let nobody make that decision for you" (Juan gives 9 year old Chiron one of the film's most profound moments).


The best films often depict a good person, battling the complications of the world with courage and great legitimacy. Moonlight is one such film. Touted by many as the best drama in 2016/17 (Golden Globe; Best Drama) Moonlight could very easily win the Best Film Oscar. Little (Alex Hibbert), Chiron (Ashton Sanders) and Black (Trevante Rhodes) depict three chapters in the life of a black boy/teenager/man coming to terms with who he is.  It's  a wonderful coming of age flick.

The legitimacy of the film is underlined by 3 actors who seamlessly bring us to understand what is really meant by the term "the lottery of life". We first meet Chiron as a nine year old known as Little. Paula (Naomi Harris) loves him but battles drug addiction. He's quiet, wide-eyed, different and bullied. In his haste to escape a pack of bullies he is noticed and gets a break. He is rescued by Juan (Mahershala Ali) who along with girlfriend Teresa (Jangle Monae) gives him a second home.

Barry Jenkins treats his audience with the same gentle care he affords Chiron. Known as Little in this early phase Chiron experiences what it is to be loved as Juan teaches him to float on his back in the ocean. Teresa feeds him with food to grow on. They are simple life lessons, a symbol of how legitimate love (there I go with that word again) is returned to a boy who deserves it. Next Jenkins folds the fact that teenage Chiron (Black) is gay and there are new challenges in his life. Changes not just confined to his one physical self.

Moonlight is as profoundly subtle as it is gentle. During Chiron's teenage phase of life he experiences a sexual transition. His friend Kevin is a friend turned lover who become a vital cog in Chiron's final stanza. If Jenkins was a carpenter and I was lucky enough to own a sideboard crafted by him it would be a piece to be admired daily because there would always be something new in the timber work that I hadn't noticed before. Moonlight is a film to be contemplated and admired in the same way.  10GUMS.      


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